Ahead of Bihar Assembly polls, Nitish cabinet approves push for power sector improvement

In an effort to boost the state's power sector, Bihar cabinet on Sunday approved 16 schemes aimed at ensuring electricity supply in rural areas, renovation and expansion of thermal power stations and better control of power grids.

Patna: In an effort to boost the state's power sector, Bihar cabinet on Sunday approved 16 schemes aimed at ensuring electricity supply in rural areas, renovation and expansion of thermal power stations and better control of power grids.

Many of these schemes are sponsored by the centre with the state sharing the cost of its implementation, Cabinet Coordination Department Principal Secretary Shishir Kumar Sinha told reporters.

The approved schemes include Rs 1,699 crore project of Bihar Grid Company Limited (BGCL), a joint venture of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) and Power Grid Corporation to expand and strengthen electricity transmission in the state.

"In this particular project, 80 per cent of Rs 1,699 crore will come as market loan while half of the rest 20 per cent (around Rs 340 crore) will be shared by BSPHCL," Sinha said.S

BSPHCL's share in the project will be about Rs 170 crore and the state cabinet has also approved the allotment of first installment of Rs 57.50 crore.

The three-hour long meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the cabinet accorded administrative approval for over Rs 333 crore projects of North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited to replace faulty and burnt transformers with high capacity ones in rural areas under Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme.

The cabinet also approved a project of Rs 71.35 crore for protection and upgradation of control systems of six grid sub-centres of Bihar State Power Transmission Company Limited (BSPTCL) in the state, Sinha said.

This particular project will be financed by central government's Power System Development Fund (PSDF) and 90 per cent of the project will be provided directly through nodal agency to BSPTCL, he added.

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